Whoever covers an offense seeks love,

But he who repeats a matter separates close friends. 

- Proverbs 17:9

What are the 2 greatest commands in Scripture? The first would be to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it; to love you neighbor as yourself. Now we are really good at loving ourselves right? I mean, everything we do, we do to make ourselves happy. Whether we eat or drink, we do all to bring ourselves joy. We need not work at loving ourselves. Daily though we struggle to live up to God’s command to love others just as we love ourselves. It’s hard right? It’s hard to love others, especially other sinners.

Our call here today in this Proverb is once again to love, and the way we love others is by covering one’s offense. So what is an offense? Simply put, an offense is any wrong done unto us. It’s something that causes a person to be hurt, angry, or upset. We often say, “I am offended that you would say such a thing”. Now obviously I think it’s safe to say that we have all been offended. And when you are offended, what is your natural tendency? What do you tend to do? Do you just cover it up? Doyou pretend that nothing happened? No, probably not. Not if you are like me. My natural tendency when someone wrongs me is to get even. To make sure justice prevails. “They will pay for this!” is my cry.

If I’m driving down the road and someone cuts in front of me, before I even know what I’m doing, I lay on the horn, speed up on their tail, and make some type of hand motion (hopefully without using any fingers). What naturally happens is that I seek revenge. Now what if this happens with one of our friends or family? Maybe one who is close to us offends us by some silly comment. We get offended and say something snarky back. What happens is that the offense is separating us, as sins of anger and bitterness creep in and take root. Before we know it the offense has separated us, fellowship is broken and God’s law is transgressed.

So the question is, “How do we cover an offense when we are full of rage?” I don’t know about you but I don’t have the magic button that I can push that just let’s me release all feeling. Well, we must look to God. We must look to Jesus Christ who became sin for us that we might become righteous in Him. We must look to the Gospel. God created us. We rebelled sinning against Him. We offended Him, yet He covered us with grace and forgiveness, with the blood of the perfect Lamb of God. If you think that the offense committed against you was big, and it very well might have been big, think again at how many miserable filthy sins you have committed against the Holy Creator God. Yet He still covers you. He still showers mercy and grace upon you! Meditate on the good news when you are filled with wrath; when you feel powerless to forgive your offender. God’s love will empower you to cover the offense and restore your relationship. “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

I close with an exhortation from 1 Peter where the Lord’s people are surrounded by difficulty. Know that in times of trial it seems that our patience grows thin, and offenses are always on the rise.  In this situation Peter says “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8. Remember that it was Christ our Lord, our Savior who covered the multitude of our sins by taking the due wrath of God upon Himself. May we be filled with this love today, and may we cover those who offend us.

-J.C. Hahne

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:3, ESV)

In Psalm 63, as in much of David’s life, he was under the constant threat of his enemies. Much like Paul in the New Testament, opposition surrounded him. Persecution, suffering, and trials were never absent, and there was no promise that they would escape them. Did these men shy away in their faith? Did they curse God? Did their light dim or fade? No! But why? Or how? How could these men keep on rejoicing in the Lord in the midst of such uncertainty? Their very lives could be taken away at the blink of an eye. How did they persevere?

Because His steadfast love is better than life. Paul said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” Our identity, being found as His beloved children, gives us power to press on. Being found in His love is better than life, so that whatever we pass through, we know to whom we belong. What can separate us from His love? We all know the answer to that. Nothing!

Paul sums up his life by saying “to live is Christ”. For him to live is to be have Christ as the center of all things; to rejoice in His presence and comforts. But there is one thing better than that! The one thing that is better than living for Christ is to live with Christ; to be with Jesus in heaven, the place of fullness of joy. So death was never an obstacle. Death was the gateway to fullness of joy at His right hand. It is our hope, the end for which we live. To live is Christ, but to die is gain. There is no greater position than to sit in His steadfast love.

So back to Psalm 63:3. David’s lips will praise God through any painful circumstance because God’s love is better than life itself. The things of this world can not compare to the steadfast love of God. Stop and think today that if you are in Christ, there is now no longer any condemnation. We are His sons, His beloved sons. Children of the King, the Creator, the one who governs all things. There is no sting in death. No, there is victory in death as we will live in His steadfast love forever. Therefore, take courage and press on for His glory.

- J.C. Hahne

I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it – His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.” – R.C. Sproul

I find these words simply amazing. “He alone has the power to change lives for eternity.” Why then do we have to try to make everything so gimmicky? Why don’t we just preach the gospel. It is the gospel that brings salvation, sanctification and the hope of eternal life.

‎”He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2

We all know that the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross is our only footing to stand before God. It’s easy to remember that my sins are forgiven and thus I can easily forgive myself of my own short comings. But so often we are fooled into thinking less of brothers who have offended us, sinned against us, or simply don’t measure up to our own standard of righteousness. Pride wells up in our hearts and minds. I thank you Lord that I am not like other sinners. I fast twice a week, tithe of all I earn, etc. etc. It is wrong to think in such a way about fellow redeemed sinners.

We must remember that the failures and sins of our brothers are also covered in the blood of Christ, thus their sins are forgiven as well. If God the righteous judge, has made one clean, how can we not look upon those who have wronged us through the lens of forgiveness?

Remember that God will not let any of His elect fall from His hands. He will sanctify all His beloved. May we be vessels of encouragement to those who sin, and continually fall or offend. May we forgive seventy times seven. Christ has bore all our iniquities, as He is the Propitiation for their sins, as well as ours.

- J. C. Hahne

When God calls a man, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites, and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration. God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.
— Thomas Watson

Oh, what comfort there is in the fact that God is nothing like us! Our love is so often based on the merits of the object. If our spouse, children, friends, co-workers are lovely that particular day, we bless them with affection. The minute conflicts arise, fellowship is broken and reconciliation must take place. Jesus’ love for his bride is unconditional. He has brought reconciliation once and for all through the blood shed for us. Our sins have been forgiven and He will not bring charge against us ever again. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21) His decree is immutable, and thus His love and our salvation is secure. “God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.” May His great love with which He has loved us transform us in our everyday lives. May we be filled with this sacrificial, unconditional love for our brethren.

Last month I had the opportunity to attend T4G in Louisville, Kentucky. The whole conference blessed my socks off, but my favorite speaker was a guy I hadn’t even heard of til that point. His name is David Platt and he preached a sermon entitled “An Unadjusted Gospel in an Unreached World: Connecting Gospel Theology with Urgent Missiology”… It was one of those sermons that made you take a step back, stop and re-evaluate the way you are living. It made me think again, for what purpose did God create and redeem me. He opened again my eyes to the urgency of the true, unperverted, unadjusted Gospel going forth to a world enslaved to sin. My hope is that you will take the time to listen to this sermon which was recently uploaded to the T4G site. Here is your audio LINK, nice big and Green so that you cant miss it. He is the last speaker on the list,  just in case you can’t find it. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

What does it mean to hate father and mother, children or spouse?